‘Safety infographics’ to ensure international project safety

Providing information on health and safety risks related to the implementation of projects is vital, but in developing countries this is sometimes a major challenge. How do you communicate with local employees who do not speak, read or write, English? With the help of students Tauw has developed ‘HSE infographics’ to better be able to ensure safety within these projects.

POP pesticides

Tauw has worked on POP-(Persistent Organic Pollutants) projects for many years in Europe and beyond. Commissioned not only by multinationals, but also international organisations such as UNDP and the World Bank. For example, in Vietnam, India, São Tomé and the former Soviet Republics.

How do you train without language?

Tauw started a project with students from the HKU University of the Arts Utrecht and the Rhine-Waal University of Applied Science (Germany) at the end of 2013. Together they tried to find an efficient way to communicate safety information within projects in developing countries. This resulted in an initial set of infographics. Tauw consultant Boudewijn Fokke used these for safety/toolbox training sessions in various POP pesticides projects. This resulted in the infographics being included in the national ‘Guidelines on sustainable management of POP pesticides contaminated sites’ in Vietnam. Boudewijn: “The pictograms really make a difference. No huge PowerPoint presentations and complex documents, just simple ‘to the point pictures’ which provide enough information and with which we can easily show the real safety issues”.

Further development of infographics

The infographics were further developed by international students from Rhine-Waal in 2015. The students are studying under Prof. Dr. Daniela Lud (former Tauw employee) in the Faculty of Communication and Environment. They worked out scenarios which have recently been transformed into new infographics by Tauw designer Pieter Diekema in the Netherlands. “There are now 25 scenarios with which we interactively provide safety information on our projects. The scenarios can be applied in many more locations and under different circumstances enabling us to reach even more people in similar situations”, said Pieter.

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